Home» Star Chef of the Month
Chef Rakesh Sethi
One of India’s top celebrity chefs, Rakesh Sethi, whose culinary skills have made him a household name across the Indian subcontinent, is an alumni of The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi.
A man with esoteric skills and appetite, he is a teetotaler, a philosopher, herb gardener, fluent in several Indian dialects as well as having an amazing command over Hindi. A post-graduate in English literature Chef Sethi has love and respect for all languages.
Chef Sethi has remained popular host of Mirch Masala, a weekly cookery show broadcast on Star Plus channel. Mirch Masala, reached across 1.25 million viewers each week - making him one of the most recognized TV personalities. His simple, interactive style endeared him to his viewers, whether he was creating healthy meals for kids or banquets for traditional Indian festivities. Chef Sethi always provided his audience with innovative and contemporary spins on authentic Indian cuisine.
Now says he “After 28-29 years in this profession, it is no longer challenging to cook a dish, which happens automatically. I am more interested in what happens if I mix and match and that’s what drives me. I am not one of the young chefs who attained Nirvana in the early years of life. Every day, my team and I look forward to an experience of producing unique combination of spices, which have character and depth. A dish, which would give my guests a pleasure both visually and gastronomically.”
Sethi, who entered the industry at the age of 19 was trained by the very best in India, and has held top positions at some of India's leading hotels. He has remained Executive Chef at Inter Continental New Delhi & the TajSats Air Catering, New Delhi. Apart from taking care of operations of all the kitchens, he has wide experience of opening and setting up new kitchens. He was adjudged Health Chef 2000 at a workshop-cum-competition organized by Indian Culinary Forum, Manpower Development Corporation and Salad Chef. His simple salad recipe of Spa Salad won him the title on the basis of calorie count, presentation and innovation. There onwards his interest in giving Indian food a healthy angle grew.
Chef Sethi has had the honour of being a part of the Household team of Honorable President of India on deputation for a short time, during the tenure of then President –Honorable .Shri. R. Venkatraman.
He is a resident Executive Food Editor with India’s most favourite Food & Lifestyle Channel-FoodFood and also is an anchor/host of a very popular daily television show called “Tea Time with Rakesh Sethi.”
In 2008 Rakesh joined as Executive Chef, Ramada Plaza, New Delhi. He earned lots of media coverage and attention as whatever he did in terms of food creation or display was very different and unique.
Selected on a Food Festival on board on Air India’s flight to UK thrice in the year 2006 called “Gourmet Flight”. Air India also shows video recordings of Rakesh’s cookery demonstrations on their International Flights.
Joined TajSats as Executive Chef in 2004. His extensive knowledge of Indian regional foods and holistic approach to cooking were a natural fit with TajSats culinary philosophy.
To gain more insight into India’s regional cuisine, Rakesh Sethi travelled from coast to coast in his position as an anchor and a Celebrity Chef of Star Plus Channel for his cookery show Mirch Masala in 2002, cooking with master chefs in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Orissa, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh.
In 1998 was made the Executive Sous Chef, The Oberoi, New Delhi.
In 1994, he was selected by Southern Pacific Hotels Limited where he worked with some best of the chefs from Australia like Chef Shane Giles and Chef Timlin, and sharpened his culinary skills in fusion and western cuisine.
He spent few years picking up art of cooking in Himalayan region, where he worked with some good chefs from Kathmandu and then in Mumbai, where he picked up cuisines of coastal regions of western India. He furthered his knowledge of home-style cooking by living with the local shepherd families in the villages and cooking with the women folk and old master chefs.
After passing out from The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi in1982, Rakesh Sethi joined Hotel Corporation of India as a trainee chef. He began his tenure with the Centaur Hotel, New Delhi in 1991 where he learnt the art of cooking for a western palate.
Has featured in various international magazines and also done pairing of Asian food with champagne and new world wines.
Is a member of Chef’s association under the name Indian Culinary Forum and participates in many events organized by them.